• Room 0G.035 - Biological Sciences

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Farm animal behaviour and welfare


Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research Interests

Prof. Niamh O’Connell leads a farm animal behaviour and welfare research programme.  Her team includes research scientists Maeve Palmer, Mary Baxter and Mairead Campbell, and postgraduate students.  Niamh has specific expertise in applied, on-farm research, and much of her programme is funded by agri-food companies.  One of her research themes focusses on the welfare of poultry, and, in particular, on designing optimum housing environments.  This work has underpinned changes in production practice both locally and internationally, and formed an impact case study in REF 2021 (where QUB ranked joint first in the UK for Agriculture, Veterinary and Food Science).  Niamh is also involved in commercially-funded research to develop novel biocidal products for the agri-food sector.  She also has a strong interest in developing new methods of assessing animal welfare, and is currently working with ECIT colleagues to develop novel machine vision tools (FlockFocus project).

Niamh has published over 80 peer-reviewed papers, was a member of the EU Platform on Animal Welfare and a Hearing Expert for EFSA, and is a frequent invited speaker and industry advisor on farm animal welfare.  


Prof O'Connell teaches across different undergraduate and post graduate programmes and co-ordinates the final year undergraduate module in Farm Animal Health and Welfare (BIO3106).

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being


Dive into the research topics where Niamh O'Connell is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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